Free Photoshop Actions

1
21 Top Free Photoshop Actions

free-photoshop-actions-canva.png
Stacy Fisher

Free Photoshop actions will help you transform an image to something jaw-dropping in a matter of seconds. Most of these actions do every single step for you, while others simply direct you through the necessary steps to achieve the end goal.

Using free Photoshop actions is a great way to automate the use of the tools in Photoshop. It works by loading an ATN file into Photoshop that's been pre-loaded with all the necessary steps to edit an image, sometimes into something entirely different, normally with just a few mouse clicks. They're easy to use and will give you fantastic results.

The free Photoshop actions below can turn your image into a pencil drawing, portrait, an old photo, a Polaroid, a sticker, add a reflection, whiten teeth, and much more.

If you're looking for more ways to transform your Photoshop creations, check out these free Photoshop brushes, textures, templates, filters, and shapes. There are also lots of free alternatives to Photoshop if you're looking for an editing program.

Tip: You can normally double-click an ATN file to open it. If that doesn't work, ensure the Actions palette is open from the Windows menu in Photoshop, then click its small menu item (near the top right of the Actions panel), and choose the Load Actions... option.

Note: Some of these Photoshop actions are downloaded in RAR files. Choose a free file extractor like 7-Zip or PeaZip to unzip those ATN files.

2
Pencil Draw Photoshop Action

Colored image versus a pencil drawn image using a Photoshop action

This Pencil Draw Photoshop action works really well. It works by turning the whole photo into one that looks as if it was drawn with a pencil. The result of this action will place the sketch layer on top of the original.

Activating it will prompt you to adjust the blur of the new layer. As you adjust the blur to the left, the picture will look more like a sketch, whereas the other direction will produce a more realistic photo that simply looks black and white.

Once added to Photoshop, this action is called Propias, or Dibujo if viewing your actions in Button Mode

3
Out of Bounds Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Out of Bounds Photoshop action

The Out of Bounds Photoshop action does nearly all the work for you to create an effect as if an image is popping out of its frame.

Two actions are included in this download - one for a flat image and one for a curled image like you see in this bottom image. In my opinion, the curled image makes for a nicer look.

This action is very advanced, and while you can alter the shadowing effects and positions of the frame and image with ease, you must manually select the part of the picture you want to pop out. However, it's actually not too difficult for beginners as long as you follow along closely to the instruction prompts.

Note: You must register for a free account with PanosFX.com before you can see the download link.

4
Portrait Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Portrait Photoshop action

This free Portrait Photoshop action, is best achieved on a portrait, such as the one I have here. You'll be asked to alter the sharpness and saturation manually, which means you could use the same image multiple times but come up with a different effect each time based on how you customize it.

This action is a bit more complex than the others in this list because not all of the steps are automated, but there are easy to follow instructions on the download page.

5
Reflection Photoshop Actions

Screenshot of the Reflections Photoshop action

Create a really cool reflection with this free reflection Photoshop action. It comes with three actions - one for a regular reflection below the image, another that's identical to the first but for transparent pictures, and one that splits the image into three parts like you see here.

You can adjust the background colors, border size, reflection height, and other effects to get the perfect outcome.

Note: You can't see the download link for this action until you sign up for a free PanosFX.com account.

6
Teeth Whitening Photoshop Action

Screenshot of white teeth in Photoshop

This teeth whitening Photoshop action is perfect if you need a guided tour through whitening teeth, but it doesn't do everything for you automatically.

After starting the action you'll be told to select the teeth using one of the selection tools. Then click play after doing so to finish the action.

You can double-click the adjustment layer icon called Whiteness and adjust the Lightness to make the teeth as white as you want. Just don't go too white or it may not look very realistic.

7
Folded Paper Photoshop Action

Folded paper Photoshop action

Use this folded paper Photoshop action for an awesome folded paper look. The image is still readable but sits as if it's in 3D with shadows strategically placed behind it.

Everything in the image will take part in the effect, so ensure nothing else is on the canvas but the paper that you want folded. The background, layers, and gradient overlay effects are fully customizable after the action runs.

This action installs with the name www.psd-dude.com (Folded leaflet).

Note: You must create a free PSDDude account to access the download.

8
Old Photo Photoshop Action

old-photo-photoshop-action.png

The Old Photo Photoshop action produces a nice effect, but it can take a little patience to use.

After starting the action, you must stop it when prompted, then start the action again and browse for the texture file from the ZIP download.

A large issue I have with this action is that it resizes your canvas and flattens all the layers. Because the canvas becomes a new size, your image will be stretched to fit it, and you must manually stretch it again to make it look like the original.

This Photoshop action is called Old photo in the folder called ArtOfDecay-Stock Actions.

9
Break of Day Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Break of Day Photoshop action

The break of day Photoshop action creates an old, dusty look to any image.

It's best to use a square image for this action. If you're not, when the action has finished running, you may need to resize the top layer so the gradient effect isn't so obvious.

10
Vivid Blur Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Vivid Blur Photoshop action

The free Photoshop action, vivid blur, is very simple, as it merely applies a strong contrast with a Gaussian blur, but the effect looks pretty nice.

The action takes just a moment to apply and will create a new layer on top of the original one. You must keep both layers present for the effect to remain, or of course merge the layers before saving it.

11
Vectorize Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Vectorize Photoshop action

The right half of this image has a the free Photoshop action vectorize, applied twice.

This Photoshop action applies filters and blurs, adjusts color, and more to produce this effect. You must make some of the changes manually, but you're prompted to do so, so they're not hard to perform.

After applying it once, I found that the image I used didn't create the effect I wanted. But you can easily double it like I did by simply running the action again after the first time.

There's also a cartoon action within this download, and it's called Cartoon_Vector once added to Photoshop. It produces a darker image that appears to be more of a sketch.

12
Stickers and Tape Photoshop Action

Screenshot of a Photoshop action with tape

The stickers and tape Photoshop action is really nice. It can create an image that looks taped down, as well as an image that looks like a round sticker pealing off paper.

The tape can be created anywhere on the paper because the tape layer is completely adjustable after running the action. You can also make air bubbles under the tape for a more realistic look.

When the action completes, the border and background effects are 100% editable so you can truly customize how it looks.

Run the Clear Tape action to create the effect you see here in this picture, or choose Round Stickers for the sticker option.

13
Sticker Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Sticker Photoshop action

Stickers are a bit raised off a piece of paper, and, similar to the above action, that's what this free Photoshop action aims to imitate. It produces a sticker around the image, though, and doesn't necessarily create a round sticker.

Just remove the background of an image and then run this action to create what you see in this above image - a thick paper-like border with a light shadow to give it a 3D look.

This action will create a new layer in Photoshop and lay it top of the original image. You can then edit the shadow effect to make it less or more prominent.

This action is called DS_Sticker Action New from the Actions palette.

Note: Click the example image on the download page to find the download button.

14
Polaroid Generator

Screenshot of the Polaroid Generator Photoshop action

Produce a nice Polaroid effect with this free Photoshop action. The action itself is kind of messy, requires you to click two different actions to make it work, and is also a bit slow to finish, but it's worth it in the end.

You must first run the RUN ME FIRST action and then choose another one, such as Type 600 Black&White for a black and white Polaroid. Others are available to keep the photo colored.

Something I like about this action is that once it has finished running, you can move the image around within the Polaroid frame to get the right shot you're looking for without having to re-launch the action.

15
Rainy Day Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Rainy Day Photoshop action

Use the free rainy day Photoshop action to create either a photo that appears to have rain falling or one that has rain on the camera lens. It seems you can go either way depending on how you adjust the settings.

Once you run the action, you'll have full control over the size of the rain drops, fog, and other settings. These are prompts that will show and give you instructions for what to do for making smaller/larger drops, etc.

I appreciate the fact that you can alter the different effects and opacity of the layers even after the action as ran. This makes it easy to manipulate the effects without having to start over from scratch.

Run MAIN ACTION, then Little Drops and Condensation to complete the whole effect.

16
Abbey Road Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Abbey Road Photoshop action

Use the free Photoshop action Abbey Road, if you need a quick, usually subtle change. I was able to apply the action in just a few moments with the effect you see here.

There's also an additional folder of actions in this file that applies a few quick brightness alterations.

If viewing your actions in Button ModeAcción 54 is the name of this particular action once opened in Photoshop.

17
Go Boom Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Go Boom Photoshop action

Go Boom is a free Photoshop action that shows you the different settings you need to manipulate to make a neat, retro-like photo.

Some of the prompts you'll be presented with is Gaussian Blur, Gradient Fill, Curves, Hue/Saturation, and Vibrance settings.

Once the changes are made, the image will appear as a new Smart Object layer without affecting the layer you started with.

18
Old Tones Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Old Tones Photoshop action

This free Photoshop action changes the hue, adds a grainy feel, sharpens the image, and creates adjustment and fill layers to create the effects you see in the images above.

After adding this action to Photoshop, find it by looking for the name Lieveheersbeestje Old tones V9.

19
Skin Glow Enhancement Photoshop Action

skin-glow-enhancement-photoshop-action.PNG

As the title suggests, the Skin Glow Photoshop action is supposed to make your skin glow, and I think it does a decent job.

The action doesn't target just the skin of a photo, but instead the whole thing. But I think the overall effect provides a semi-professional look and may even serve as a quick solution to removing skin blemishes due to the blur effect.

Look for the name iscarlett1 or action1byiscarlett in Photoshop to use this action after you've installed it.

20
Sepia Photoshop Actions

Screenshot of Free Sepia Photoshop Actions

Warm up your photos with this sepia tones free Photoshop action. There are 7 different actions that you can choose from to create a different effect for each one you choose.

After you add this action to Photoshop, it'll be called Sepia actions - freaky665, with each different action in its own subfolder.

21
Darker Effect Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Darker Effect Photoshop Action

The darker effect action comes with three separate actions that each do something a bit different to the colors of the image, but you can still customize them once they've been ran.

Use the above image as a guideline as to how each action will perform. Once the Photoshop action has done its job, you can still alter the effects like shadows, color overlay, etc. from the Layers palette.

This action is called Color Effect once it's been installed into Photoshop.

22
Photo Coloring Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Photo Coloring Photoshop action

The photo coloring Photoshop action creates some fill layers, changes the layer mode, and makes numerous color changes to enhance the photo's colors to create an effect similar to the picture you see here.

I've learned that this Photoshop action takes a particular type of image to make it look nice - it won't work on everything.

23
More Free Photo Editing Resources

photoshop-actions-more.jpg
Geber86/E+/Getty images

Here are some other Photoshop freebies that will make your images really stand out.

 If you're looking for some free additional photo editing resources, you'll want to check these out.